I have known for a long while now that there were significant deficiencies in the Windows Mobile approach to smart devices. This had been made clear from Apples paradigm shifting release of the iPhone. However, the fact that I could develop applications for my windows mobile device using tools I was familiar with, kept me holding firmly to the inferior device, until about a month ago, when frustrations with my HTC touch HD (WM 6.1) reached a critical mass, and it happened to coincide with a colleague of mine upgrading to iPhone 4 and selling his old (almost unused) iPhone 3GS at a very reasonable price.
Since then, I have to say I have really been enjoying my iPhone, although, fear not dear reader, I am not about to become yet another Mac fanboi... At least not that easily.
There are some really nice things about the iPhone, but at the same time, some things that could be improved.
The focus on user experience is really where the iPhone (and indeed apple) really shine. It is quite obvious that this is a device designed to be used while traveling on a train with one hand full of groceries, and you texting arm wrapped around a grab rail for support. The different context sensitive keyboards, the size of the keyboards, the auto-word prompt when you mistype a word, the ability for applications to switch orientation all add up to a great user experience when inputting and reading text, as is evident from the fact that I can type up this whole blog post using my iPhone. The concentration on more natural user interfaces is very welcome.
The hardware is fast becoming the minimum spec for smart phone manufacturers that want to compete on the modern market, which I think signifies that apple really nailed it.
The proliferation of iPhone apps has seen the platform become an instant hit, and overall, I am extremely happy with it, to the point where I will not be going back to a windows mobile 6.* device. The overall consistency of "most" applications in the app store, and the new device friendly controls that apple have encouraged developers to use are on the whole really good, however, that could become a double edged sword.
Battery life sucks. Also coming from a palm is background, I do miss graffiti as a form of input, but I guess there were so few people that bothered to learn it that I'm probably on the minority here. The 20MB download limit when not on a wifi network I see as an affront to my free market rights to purchase the bandwidth I want and how I want it delivered.
I will be getting a Windows Phone 7 device when they come out, because I really want to get into the WP7 development space. I'll have to wait and see how well then WP7 performs
Before I make a choice as to which device I want to use on a day to day basis... May the best phone win.